POSTED: April 06 2019 22:43:38. By Keith Long
- Score Draw For United When Win Was Required
A 2-2 draw away with fellow Premier Division strugglers East Manchester temporary eased Beechfield United 1st Teams relegation worries. On Saturday 30th March 2019 United kicked off this Manchester Football League fixture and were soon on the attack with Louis Duff producing a surging run down the right wing but his high cross was headed clear. East Manchester were awarded a debatable free kick in the 3rd minute that resulted in the hosts taking the lead when their No9 volleyed the ball into the net off the underside of the crossbar. A long range effort by Matthew McNally flashed wide of the target as Beechy strived to score an instant equaliser. Two great pieces of defending by Marcus Belcher and Carl Ravenscroft foiled attempts by the hosts to add a second goal then both Beechy defenders were involved in a superb counter-attack that set-up Jordan Jones-Waite who's low drive won United a corner. The action switched rapidly from end to end on the artificial surface and Luke Johnston became United's saviour when he produced a perfectly timed interception when the East Manchester No10 raced onto a ball hit from the left flank.
A brilliant move between Jamie Sinnott and Carl Ravenscroft opened up the hosts defence and a pinpoint cross by the latter created a half chance for Jordan Jones-Waite. Following twenty five minutes of frantic action Beechy hadn't tested the hosts keeper to a certain degree but United equalised just after the half hour mark. Chris Ferris who had a brilliant game in central midfield played a part in the move that saw an attempted clearance by an East Manchester's defender drop towards Jordan Jones-Waite and he produced a sensational volleyed finish for 1-1. Three minutes later Jordan had a clear-cut chance to score again after racing onto Jamie Sinnott's superb inch perfect pass. Beechy's next positive attack also went unrewarded after fine link-up play between Jordan Jones-Waite and Jamie Sinnott carved out an opening for Matthew McNally but his first time effort went just wide of the target. Conceding far too many free kicks within their own half United had to survive a few hair-raising moments and some last-ditch defending from Mike Rogerson, Marcus Belcher, Luke Johnston and Carl Ravenscroft thankfully eased the pressure.
Retaining its competitive edge the match was well controlled by referee Declan Brown and on forty two minutes United went 2-1 up. Winning the ball close to halfway line Jordan Jones-Waite went on another surging run down the left flank then delivered a precise cross to the opposite side of the area and Jamie Sinnott arriving at the back post headed the ball home from close range. Just before the whistle for half time Beechy conceded another free kick but some great defending by Marcus Belcher cleared the ball to safety. Making a fast start to the second half United went close to increasing their lead after Jamie Sinnott's long range effort almost beat the keeper then a superb move involving Mike Rogerson, Louis Duff and Chris Ferris ended with a powerful strike by Ethan Birds hitting the crossbar. During a period of good counter-attacking soccer from East Manchester conceding more unnecessary free kicks put added pressure onto United's defensive quartet and once again first time clearances by Luke Johnston and Marcus Belcher kept the hosts at bay. The tempo of the match had increased since the restart and despite far too many stoppages it remained fairly entertaining.
East Manchester played with much more energy in the second half and their No8 had a major part in some of the hosts forward attacking flurries mostly down the left flank. Louis Duff worked hard in his role as right wing back getting forward and showing real attacking intent plus he delivered a few great crosses that created some decent chances. As the match briefly became rather scrappy Beechy's final pass at times was off target and when East Manchester resorted to using the long ball tactic United's back four were happy to soak up the pressure. Following a corner a chance arrived for Jordan Jones-Waite who saw his header on target scrambled away by the hosts keeper. United Manager Steven Erskine was thrust into the action for the final twelve minutes and Beechy relied on their counter-attacking option with both Jamie Sinnott and Jordan Jones-Waite looking to add the finish to numerous half chances.
East Manchester forced more crucial defending from United but Beechy kept attacking and were denied a third goal when the hosts keeper made a great one-handed save to deny an effort by Ethan Birds after a brilliant move between Steven Erskine, Chris Ferris and Mike Rogerson. United were robbed of a victory late in time added on when following a throw-in to the hosts a goalmouth scramble developed and East Manchester's No10 fired the ball into the roof of the net from close range.